Wordless Wednesday: Blue Ridge Mountains

                                               The Blue Ridge Mountain and Shenandoah River

Christmas At The Beach

I love making memories with my grandson.  This past week we visited the Winter Wonderland and the Lights on the Beach in Virginia Beach, VA.  I had hoped to walk along the boardwalk with Xavier, but the setup only allowed you to drive along the boardwalk.  It worked out perfectly, since the evening was quite chilly.  

The light show was fantastic.  The displays arranged from the drummer shown above to fish jumping from the sea.  Ronald McDonald was on hand, Snoopy, a beautiful carousel and a nativity scene.  Dinosaurs, boats, and horses could be found along the beach.  Xavier was quite excited by the lights, and so was I. What a way to start the holiday season. I loved the fact that you could drive the boardwalk at your leisure.  Nobody was honking horns hurrying people along, everyone was enjoying the scenery and just taking their time.  You could place an order for coffee or hot chocolate before you started your journey, which was brought to your car.  You were also given a CD of holiday music to play while you drove the 30 blocks.  It was a great set-up, and I intend to make the Lights on the Beach an annual outting for Xavier and Mama.       

 
My neighbor had seen the show last year with her daughter, and she assured me that I would not be disappointed.  She was right.  Each year the merchants add new displays. I can’t wait to see the show next year.  There was truly alot of time and effort put into the show.      

If you’re in the Virginia Beach area during the holiday it is worth the trip.  Your children will never forget the lights and they will love you for it making a great memory for them.  I can’t wait to make a scrapbook of my week-end with Xavier.  No show is ever the same, so this adventure will certainly go to the top of my list of things to do during the holidays, and I recommend that you add it to your list too.  Leave us a comment and let us know how you’re getting into the Christmas spirit with your children this holiday season.  We would love to know what’s happening in your area.     

A Passion for Scrapbooking

Besides blogging, wine tasting and reading true crime books, I have a passion for scrapbooking.  I have a fortune invested in pictures, so I decided to combine my love for crafts with my pictures and do scrapbooks.  It can become an expensive habit, but I love it.  I decided to purchase the Cricut Expression several months ago, and I absolutely love it.  The cartridges can be expensive, but I’ve been able to purchase mine from ebay at a reasonable amount. 

The layouts are from an airshow that I attended in September with my grandson.  He had a great time watching the USA Air Force Thunderbirds do their thing.  He loves looking at the pictures when he visits, so the scrapbooks are a perfect way to perserve memories of our time together.  

I love using the Cricut for my lettering and die cuts for my scrapbook.  It was a big investment, but well worth the money. I’m currently working on a scrapbook from our visit to the pumpkin patch this fall and a fall wine festival. The two cartridges that I purchased for my fall scrapbooks have great die cuts, so I’m excited about using them.  There are several other cartridges that I’ve placed on my Christmas list.  I’ve been a good girl, so I’m hoping Santa will place a few in my stocking this year.

If you’re a scraper, I would love to hear from you so that we can exchange ideas for layouts and techniques. If you have a Scrapbook Blog, please leave your link. 

I’m A Mountain Momma

It’s been awhile since I’ve attended to my blog.  Just needed to take a break and do me.  During my break, I’ve spent time roaming the local home front taking pictures and scrapbooking which I will share a few photos in a later post.  I love fall, it’s my favorite time of year.  Mother Nature is doing her best work.  The air is crisp and the colors are breath taking.  I thought I would share this photo of the beauty that I’m surrounded by.  So many times I’ve thought of leaving this area and heading toward a more cultured and happening area, but I’ve always found something that made me say it’s worth staying here.  Today its the Blue Ridge mountains.  I’m sure you’re familiar with them, John Denver sung about them in his hit song Country Roads Take Me Home.  Well ladies and gentlemen, this is what he was referring to, the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah River in the hills of West Virginia.   

Yes, the Blue Ridge Mountains are in my back yard so to speak.  I visit this spot in the fall to clear my head.  As you can see, there’s a breath taking view.  It’s so relaxing and peaceful.  I was never a big fan of John Denver, but I do love his Country Roads song.  It’s a fitting tribute to West Virginia:

Almost heaven, West Virginia   

Blue ridge mountains, Shenandoah River
Life is old there, older than the trees

Younger than the mountains, blowing like a breeze
Country roads, take me home
To the place, I be-long
West Virginia, mountain momma

We may not be the most cultured state, but we surely have beauty.  Wouldn’t you agree.

Worried About America’s Education System?

Are you worried about America’s Education System?  It’s just not what it used to be.  A contractor hired to paint on a stretch of road near Southern Guilford High School in North Carolina misspelled “School”.  

Thank goodness the mistake has been corrected.  This is surely not what we want our children to see on their way to school.  

Here’s another sign that was spotted in Wisconsin.  Every word is misspelled except Exit.  The misspelled words include ‘Buisness’, ‘Rothschield’, and ‘Schofeild’.  It should say Business, Rothschild and Schofield, lol.

Maybe a spelling test should be administered before these contractors are hired. 

Hitler Admirers or Just Bad Parents

A court has ruled that Adolf Hitler Campbell, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell, 3, and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell, 2, will remain in the care of Child Protective Services, they will not return to their parents.  Why, the home is not safe because of domestic violence concerns.  Adolf Hitler Campbell appeared in our homes via TV and blogs last year when Shopright refused to inscribe his name on his birthday cake. 

Apparently, the children were removed from the home because little Adolf was threatening to kill people.  He was mirroring his dad who was supposedly threatening to kill his mother.  A neighbor stated that the mother slipped a note to her once stating she was terrified of her husband because he said he would kill her.

According to court documents, both parents are disabled and unstable.  I don’t see how anyone could not question the sanity of parents who would name their children after a racist who was responsible for the murder of 17 million people. Court records state that both parents were abused as children and neither has received treatment for their psychological problems.  Oh really.    

Who in their right mind would name their children Adolf Hitler, Aryan Nation and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie named after Heinrich Luitpold Himmler I believe.  It seems that the Campbells don’t believe the holocaust even happened.  Their home is decorated with swastikas on walls, jackets, pillows and they even had one on their car until it was suggested that they remove it for the safety of their children.

It seems that court room proceedings were a fiasco.  The mother stated that she did give the neighbor the note, but it was a lie.  The note stated that the husband had stabbed her in the hand with a screwdriver and he threatened to kill her among other things.  The foster mother to the three children stated that Adolf Hitler was violent toward his siblings and called her bitches as well as threatened to kill her.  The husband and father has been married to two other women.  One of the ex-wives testified that he threatened to kill her as well.  She also stated that she was unable to bring her son around anyone who was not white because he would say terrible things taught to him by his father.  

The Campbells claim that they children were removed from their home because of their names.  If all that came out in court is true, the children are better off in another home.  I hope that they will be adopted together and their names are changed to more appropriate names.  This will at least give these poor children a chance in the world.  It’s so sad anybody can become a parent, but there’s so many who should be neutered or spayed.   Do you think the right decision was made with these children? 
  

A Day At Shenandoah Caverns

Shenandoah Caverns

Have you ever been to the Shenandoah Caverns in VA?  If you’re in the surrounding area, you have to make a trip.  I took my 2 year old grandson to visit, and I couldn’t get him to leaveNot only do they have the caverns, but they have an American Celebration building that houses floats from the Rose bowl parade and props from several Presidential Inaugurations.  They have the Yellow Barn which houses antiques, a play area, a train ride and a huge tree full of squirrels to delight youngsters.  The third attraction is Main Street Yesteryear, which is filled with window displays of delightful characters.  

The caverns are owned by a gentleman whose family has been building floats since  1946.  Not only do they build floats, they have been involved with every Presidential Inaugural Celebration since 1949.  I wondered what props they would have on display from Clinton and Obama’s Inaugurations The Shenandoah Caverns were on my list of things to do with my grandson this summer, so I was really excited to make the trip.  

It didn’t disappoint.  We started in the American Celebration building.  It almost ended there as well.  Xavier was so thrilled by the floats I couldn’t get him to leave.  It was a room filled with bunnies, ducks, elephants, dogs, Barney, Dumbo and the list goes on.  He pushed buttons over and over to make the animals move and stirred at them in awe.  I must admit, I had just as much fun as he did.  The photos will make a great scrap book of our summer adventure.  I finished the tour with my grandson standing on the stage that was used for Reagan, Bush and Clinton’s inaugurations. They also had Obama and Biden’s Seal on display.  My grandson wouldn’t go near it.  I wonder if that’s a sign that he’s going to be a Republican, lol.

They had several picnic tables on the grounds where you could bring lunch and enjoy the outdoors.  Had I known, I would have packed a lunch for Xavier and me.  Not to worry if you don’t want to go through the trouble, they have a cafe where you can purchase fare.

things to do in Virginia

We moved over to the Yellow Barn, which featured a cute display of squirrels and a play area for the children.  You can also put your child on a train ride here for a $1.00.  A buck doesn’t get you much these days, but here you make a memory for you and your child.  That’s priceless.  They don’t have as many displays in this particular area as they do in the American Celebration building, but Xavier found the play area and once again I couldn’t get him to leave.  They have a rocker that he fell in love with and an old fashioned rocking horse.  I’m glad there weren’t any other children around, I may have had a hard time getting him to share.  He made pancakes on the antique stove, peeped into the squirrel’s tree house, and played with an adorable family of wooden bees.

Virginia Caverns

They also have wine tastings in this building if you need a little refreshment.  You can also purchase jams, jellies, mixes and just relax while your child plays.  You don’t feel rushed and everyone is friendly.  Unfortunately we had to end the day here.  Main Street Yesteryear and the caverns are still on our list of things to do, so we will definitely be making another trip to the Shenandoah Caverns.  They are open every day except Christmas.  It’s a world of make believe that generates lots of giggles and amazement.  It’s the things that make us wish we were children again.  It’s a time for the young and the young at heart.  It’s childhood innocence.  They have truly built an environment worthy of my time, energy and money.  

Stay tuned for my post on Main Street Yesterday and the caverns.  Leave us a comment and let us know where your family has ventured off to this summer.     

7 Year Old’s Lemonade Stand Shut Down

Is your child an entrepreneur?  Do they have a lemonade stand?  If you live in Portland, OR they could be shut down.  This 7-year old little girl was shut down by a Health Inspector.  They stated that she needed a restaurant license to operate, lol.  What is happening to this country?   We strive to teach our children morals, values, and a sense of self-worth only to have idiots like this steal their joy.

Here’s the story.  This adorable little girl saw an episode on Nick Jr. of Olivia the pig operating a lemonade stand.  She decided that she would like to have a lemonade stand as well to earn a little extra money.  Now with the economy the way it is somebody needs work, and if a 7 year old is the one lucky enough to be able to bring in a little income so be it.  Her mother decided to help make her dream come true.  They made a sign and packed the car with bottled water, Kool Aid, cups, and ice, and secured a spot at the local art fair.   

Much to her surprise, she was shut down by a health inspector.  The violation, she failed to obtain a $120 temporary restaurant license.  Not much surprises me these days, but when I read the article I was in disbelief.  Who in the hell would pay $120 for a license so a child can operate a lemonade stand.  The health department was holding a 7 year old to the same standards as a commerical business.

The inspector informed the mother that she could face a $500 fine if she continued to operate, so she packed up everything and tried to explain to her daughter that the people were just doing their job.  Now I’m all for sanitary conditions, but the mother and daughter were using bottled water, packs of Kool Aid, a scoop for the ice and hand sanitizer. How harmful can that be?

Other vendors who were nearby decided to come to the little girl’s aid and take measures against such a ridiculous law.  They spread the word using every avenue and venue available to protest the decision.  The Health Department eventually apologized to the mother and daughter stating they made a mistake.  They stated that the law should not apply to lemonade stands, and the inspectors should use professional knowledge to decide when a business should be shut down.  What has happened to people’s hearts in this country?

I hope this little girl wasn’t discouraged by the incident and will try her hand again at being an entrepreneur.  I love the cartoon Olivia on Nick Jr.  She’s adventurous and her messages are to teach our young ones to try new things.  Isn’t that what we want them to do.  How do we prepare them for the real world if we don’t provide opportunities to experience and try new things.  Most children are tied to the computer and the TV for hours, but this little girl wanted to get out and sell lemonade to make a few dollars.  If anything she should have been seen as an example.  

The funniest thing about the incident is the health inspector stated his children sell lemonade.  I wonder if he spent a $120 on a permit for them.    

Maybe Nick Jr. will create an episode on Olivia about idiot health inspectorsTheir lesson have a heart, you can’t learn everything from a book.            

Wordless Wednesday: Virginia Beach Mural

                                                                      Mural on a building in Virginia Beach, VA